Apparently, I was fired yesterday.  That’s o.k., I just wish he’d call and tell me BEFORE I get up, get dressed, and COME to work today!  Now I’m just depreciating the value of my clothing by yet another day.

Over the weekend, I attended the 17th Annual New Orleans Film Festival.  It should be the 18th, but last year, Katrina was a bit of a killjoy.  So, despite only getting a new Artistic Director 6 weeks ago, replacing the former director who formerly had a home in New Orleans, the festival survived!  As an opening night, it showed a film I really enjoyed, The Queen.  It was a lot more sympathetic towards the Royal Family than I imagined.  As a young girl (well, I was!) who watched Diana and Prince Charles get married at 4am, and who mourned when Di was killed, I actually found myself understanding the position that Queen Elizabeth found herself in.  Typically, I hate films that present themselves as if they were written by someone who was in the room, but is actually made up crap, I really found myself gaining a greater understanding.  I also saw Little Children and Sherrybaby.  Really liked the first, and appreciated the performances in the latter (Maggie, Maggie, why so naked all the time?). 

Since I’ve been back, everyone has asked the same question; How is it really in N.O.?  Well, it looks like a city that has been through HELL.  I was in the French Quarter, a lesser hit area, and every block had businesses that have closed.  I met some really great people at the festival – including two people who were nice enough to join me on my panel, Rio Hackford, the charismatic son of Taylor Hackford and a fine actor to boot, and my new best friend Mari Kornhauser, who did an indie called Housebound with Peter Sarsgaard.  Mari befriended little lonely, scared me and showed me around a bit.  I met some N.O. natives, actual N.O.P.D. and S.W.A.T., and they shared some stories about their time during Katrina.  They all talk like they’ve just returned from Iraq.  The death and destruction they saw could probably rival.  Still, they were cheerful and friendly, and happy to see people coming to their town (and spending $$!).  I easily blew my SAGIndie per diem (hey, $20 doesn’t go as far as it used to).

I had a great time in New Orleans, and was happy to support the city and the festival.  But boy was I happy to be back in Los Angeles where bodies only occasionally lie in the street and running water confines itself to kitchen and bathroom sinks.  I stopped counting my blessings when I hit one million.

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